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The Proposed Etiologies of Dissociative
Identity Disorder

By: Jillian Blueford | Mentor: Dr. Gulnora Hundley

Abstract

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) evolves after suffering consecutive, traumatizing forms of abuse during an individual's early years. Repetitive abuse can lead an individual to develop two or more personalities, and then experience memory loss or other cognitive gaps in his or her early childhood that continue to the present day. This can have devastating effects on millions of people because a significant percentage of affected individuals do not recognize the symptoms or choose to believe that DID does not exist. By analyzing the literature currently available, this article creates a central base of popular and emerging models that clinicians use to diagnose DID. With a more informed understanding of what prompts the diagnosis, researchers can pinpoint the factors that lead to DID, which will allow for earlier recognition. This review alerts researchers and clinicians that DID is a legitimate disorder. This review also highlights the fact that effective treatments are available, but that more research is needed to grasp the nature of the mechanisms that drive the development of DID.

KEYWORDS: Dissociative Identity disorder, etiology, models, trauma

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